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New Issue | Brazilian Lighthouses

About the Stamps

This issue is composed of 8 postage stamps of Brazilian lighthouses. Bailique: located on the banks of the Amazon river, it guides vessels coming from outside the region and the canoes of riverside populations Cabo Orange: in the same region, it also guides vessels from riverside populations, however it is located in an inhospitable region, near the Oiapoque River. Ilha Rasa: the first lighthouse built after the Brazilian independence. In the inauguration Emperor Pedro II boarded the Corvette “Nictheroy”. The intention was to land, but unfavorable conditions did not allow it, so the crew witnessed the first lighting on the ship itself. Moela: it is the oldest lighthouse in São Paulo, and is on the island of Itamirindiba. Abrolhos: in addition to the lighthouse, in this composition were also highlighted the humpback whales, which swim away from the cold of Antarctica to mate and have their calves in Bahia waters. Calcanhar: in the representation, two bathers observing the lighthouse located on the Calcanhar beach. Chuí: were highlighted here, two Chilean flamingos which are part of the Taim ecological reserve, located in the same region as the lighthouse. Santa Marta: next to this region we have a geological structure called “Pedra do Campo Bom” or “Lage do Jaguaruna”. This formation prevented some ships from approaching the coast of the island, where they often remained stranded. The composition brings 3 children observing one of these incidents. The technique used was digital painting.

Brazilian Lighthouses

Correios, through Brazilian Philately, issues 8 (eight) special postage stamps of Brazilian lighthouses, comprising: 2 (two) lighthouses from the North region, 2 (two) from the Northeast, 2 (two) from the South and 2 (two) from the Southeast.

The maritime mentality of a people can be expressed in the lighthouses of their country, and the bravery of their sailors inspired by the saga of their lighthouse keepers. (Ney Dantas)

On a distant day, shrouded in the fog of time, man threw himself into the sea, out of curiosity, necessity, or mere delight, with a spirit of adventure, beginning to know his world. He came and went in full view of his home, in the light of day. Signs on the ground, a tree, a stone, a conspicuous elevation guided his safe return. Continually seeking further horizons, he himself began to build reference signs, piles of stones or wooden towers that would allow him to go further, but return safely. Surprised by a bad weather, one day, he didn´t return. Lost in the darkness he imagined that during the night he could be guided by fires lit over his crude daytime signals. His descendants did so.

Larger and safer vessels carried him farther and farther, always with the aid of signals on land that, one day, would be called lighthouses.

The great sea between lands, the Mediterranean, on whose shores arose, flourished, developed and disappeared important civilizations and peoples, was privileged by thriving cultural exchange, trade, and political disputes, which made it the scene of many sea routes.

As the sailors of these peoples encouraged each other, the voyages lengthened in time and space, demanding more reference signs along the shores for safe orientation. Documentary records, images, descriptions, inscriptions and coins that are known today prove the existence of these signs that guided those men at sea.

Although they have existed for a long time, the word “lighthouse” as an aid to navigation only emerged after the construction of a large nautical sign in Alexandria, on the island of “Pharos”, Egypt, in 280 BC. According to the geographer Edrisi, who visited it in 1150, its 149 m high stone tower was topped by a bonfire that could be seen at 29 Nautical Miles (NM). It was considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Since then, nautical signs built in the form of a tower and close to the sea, began to be called “Lighthouse” (phare, in French, faro in Spanish and Italian, and far in Romanian).

Among many lighthouses built since then, highlights include The Tower of Hercules in Spain, built by the Romans in the second century and the oldest in operation; the Cordouan in France, the first to use a Fresnel lens and the oldest lighthouse in France in operation; the Eddystone in England, the first built on the open sea; and The Bell Rock in Scotland, the first built on a rock formation that covers and bares with the tide.

There are few known historical records that prove the existence of lighthouses along the Brazilian coast in the colonial period, with the exception of the Santo Antônio da Barra Lighthouse in Salvador, Bahia, demonstrably built in 1698, after the sinking of the Portuguese galleon Sacramento, with the loss of more than 500 lives. The opening of the ports in 1808 with the transfer of the Portuguese royal family to Brazil, certainly motivated the increase of this fundamental demand for the Safety of Navigation, the first of them being the Barra Lighthouse in Rio Grande do Sul, inaugurated in 1820, and the Rasa Island Lighthouse, the first inaugurated after the proclamation of Independence.

From a broader perspective, more than an aid to navigation, lighthouses can also represent part of the memory of a nation, the culture of a country, the traditions of a people, and the architectural evolution of an era, reasons that justify its preservation as a historical and cultural heritage to be a legacy to future generations.

The representation of these monuments by Philatelic art is an expressive contribution to perpetuate the record of this heritage, and contribute to the development of national maritime awareness.

The Rasa (1829), in front of Guanabara Bay, was the first lighthouse lit after the proclamation of Independence, guiding sailors to the Capital of Brazil for more than a century, during the Empire and the Republic. Its light emerges from a Meso-Radial Fresnel lens, one of the second largest ever built, which gives it a Luminous range of up to 51 NM, or more than 94 Km. In it also works a Radio Beacon, which transmits information from DGNSS (Differential Global Navigation Satellite System).

Abrolhos (1861), on the island of Santa Bárbara off the coast of Bahia, guards the Abrolhos National Marine Park, which is home to an extensive chain of corals and the greatest marine biodiversity in Brazil, but is also the largest ship cemetery on the Brazilian coast. Its Fresnel lens is also Meso-Radial with luminous range up to 51 NM. It has radar responder equipment (RACON).

Chuí (1910) is the southernmost of the Brazilian territory, just north of the mouth of the Chuí stream, bordering Uruguay. Its Fresnel lens is of the 4th order and provides it with a luminous range of up to 46 NM, just over 85 Km. It is also Radio Beacon and has RACON.

Calcanhar (1912) lies on the boundary between the North and Northeast coasts and is the point of South America that is closest to Africa. Its 2nd order Fresnel lens allows luminous range up to 38 NM, just over 70 Km. It is also Radio Beacon.

The oldest lighthouse in São Paulo is Moela (1830) on the island of Itamirindiba, so called by the Indigenous people of the region, then Moela Island, baptized by the Portuguese due to its shape. It has a 1st order Fresnel lens that gives its luminous rays a range of up to 40 NM, just over 74 Km. It is also a Radio Beacon.

Powerful beam of light emerges from the hyper-radial Fresnel lens, one of the 29 largest lenses of this type ever built, of the Santa Marta Lighthouse (1890) in Santa Catarina, sweeping the surface of the sea and alerting navigators of the dangerous “Pedra do Campo Bom”, reaching up to 46 NM, just over 85 Km. It also has a Radio Beacon.

Orange (1997) the northernmost in the country near the mouth of the Orange River, and Bailique (1890) the oldest at the mouth of the North Branch of the Amazon River, are in the state of Amapá. Due to the difficulty of access and to the type of terrain where they are built, they are made up of steel truss towers, coated in the case of Orange. They have Modern and small electronic lanterns, which give them luminous ranges of 18 NM, just over 33 Km, and 14 NM, almost 26 km, respectively.

Alberto Piovesana Júnior

Brazilian Navy Officer – Hydrographer

Directorate of Hydrography and Navigation

Technical Details

Stamp issue N. 3

Art: Gustavo Ramos

Facial value: R$ 3.00 each stamp

Printing: Brazilian Mint

Print system: offset

Paper: gummed chalky paper

Issue: 128,000 stamps

Sheet with 16 stamps

Sheet dimensions: 120 x 267mm

Stamp dimensions: 25 x 59mm

Design area: 25 x 59mm

Perforation: 12 x 11.5

Date of issue: May 29th, 2023

Places of issue: Macapá/AP, Oiapoque/AP, Caravelas/BA, Rio de Janeiro/RJ, Touros/RN, Santa Vitória do Palmar/RS, Laguna/SC and Guarujá/SP

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